Yes hello, here’s another Pride read from your favorite sassy reader! And I’m feeling particularly sassy today. Which may or may not have an effect on how I write my review for The Gravity of Us by Stamper. Ok fine, it totally is. But at least I’m #selfaware.
The Gravity of Us. A story of two boys who are thrown together in unusual circumstances and find that they share a crush. What are these unusual circumstances you ask? Their parents are astronauts.
Let me explain. Cal is internet famous. He lives in New York and use a fictional platform (that sounds suspiciously like Twitch or Instagram Live) to talk about ‘the issues’ and the local goings on. Cal started filming because he wants to be a journalist and has worked hard to amass his following. He wants to cover the real issues and give the people what they want. He’s created a plan to achieve this goal and the next step is the Buzzfeed internship.
Listen, I love a good ‘build a burrito and we’ll tell you what Star Wars villain you are’ quiz, but really? You want to go into serious, hard hitting journalism and you’re plan is Buzzfeed?
His plans are blown to smithereens when his father his picked as a member of a new NASA crew who are headed to Mars. Which means moving to Texas and leaving his internship behind because ~fun fact~ there’s a reality TV series about the crew members and their families. So Cal has to go, and he has to give up his streaming.
Now, let’s stop here for a moment. There is some teen angst expected when one is required to move. But Cal is so whiny and rude about it. And, he spends a lot of time being like my Dad is an idiot, how did he get picked, all he does is fly planes for a living. And forget the contract I signed and what it might do to my family, I’m going to stream anyway. Which is to say, by the time we rolled into the NASA neighborhood, I didn’t really like Cal.
Is part of that my predisposition against whiny teens? Perhaps. Is part of it that even though I have a career based on social media, I often find influencers disingenuous, exploitative, and superficial? Most certainly. Glad to see my self awareness hasn’t worn off in a few paragraphs.
So Cal doesn’t appreciate moving and makes life harder for everyone. But he does appreciate Leon’s gymnast body. And then he finds he likes Leon as a person too.
(Get it? The Gravity of Us. Like, gravity as in space but also the serious situation.)
Leon, who seems nice, quiet, and more reserved, has been living in the spotlight for quite some time. His mom is one of the leaders of this NASA squad and they’ve been on the TV show for ages.
Another stop on this literary train. Stamper wants me to believe that NASA, a government entity, has hired a TMZ equivalent to produce their show? Sure, public interest in space is down. We’ve got a lot of things to worry about here on the ground. But absolutely no way are they turning the space program into a Real Housewives mess. And, that NASA hired old, out of touch marketers to run their social media? Absolutely not. And do NOT get me started on that one reporter/camera woman. We don’t have time for that rant.
Back on track. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, I liked Leon and his sister and there were actually some interesting twists and turns along the way. Dinner parties, rocket launches, scandals. Space, science. They handle death of loved ones, family dynamics, and depression.
Which are great topics and can be very interesting. My only problem was that I didn’t love Cal. It wasn’t until the end of the book that he was like oh, I guess my Dad isn’t an idiot after all. And when Leon is like, bro I like you but I have depression and I need to handle things. Cal did ok supporting him, but still proved to be pretty selfish.
All of this together means I do recommend The Gravity of Us, but put it in the middle of your reading list. Don’t push it past other potentially more well rounded books to the top. It’s more of a, everything else I want to read is on hold at the library and this is sitting on my self, situation. Instead, read What If It’s Us.
But! That’s just my opinion! I’m just one person! Maybe you’ll love it and then you can come back and be like no way! And I’ll say, cool! Glad you enjoyed reading a book!
I think I’ve mentioned it before but I’m like, super afraid of space. I’m never going. EVER. But I’ve seen a lot of space movies (thanks younger brother!) and I recommend the following:
Ad Astra, Alien, Alien 2, 2001 Space Odyssey, Intersteller, Gravity, Apollo 11 the documentary, Apollo 13, First Man, Armageddon. Star Wars. Escape from Planet Earth.